green dolphin tiles Highly glazed ceramic tiles like the ones shown here were a common sight in the counter service branches. They were produced specially for Sainsbury's by Minton Hollins of Stoke on Trent. The pattern that was used was complex. On the walls, the central motif was of stylised crown imperial flowers in cream relief. This was surrounded by a rectangular pattern of chrysanthemums in white on a blue background which stretched from just above the top shelf behind the counter almost to ceiling level.

Just below the ceiling there was a border of celadon green tiles which depicted stylised dolphins and fleurs-de-lys, like the ones above. (50Kb) On the lower part of the walls, a pattern of relief tiles in yellow, brown and white was used. The tiles on the counter fronts were glazed in what Minton's termed 'Sainsbury's teapot brown.'

Click on any of the tiles below to see a larger image or use the bar beneath each one.

Crysanthemums In situ
Chrysanthemum tiles used in the standard design of the interior from c1895. 16Kb A typical arrangement of green 'dolphin' and chrysanthemum tiles. 56Kb
Blue Tile Wall Panel
Wall tile from Sainsbury's first shop at 173 Drury Lane, Holborn, London, opened 1869. 33Kb Detail from a hand painted wall panel at 159 Queen's Crescent, Kentish Town, NW London, opened 1873. 32Kb
Blue Tiles Teapot Tiles
Wall tiles from 79 Angel Lane, Stratford, East London, c1906. 22Kb Counter front tiles from 44/46 High Street, Lewisham, in 1888. 46Kb
Birds and Fruit Tiles
Birds and fruit at Brondesbury branch, Kilburn, in 1888. 30Kb

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Copyright J Sainsbury plc, 2000.